๐ŸŽ„Day 11: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

As I mentioned before, Judy Garland was first introduced to me as a misplaced little girl from Kansas, but my affection for her grew as I watched other films like Harvey Girls, Easter Parade, and Meet Me in St. Louis.

Her smile sparkles and her voice is unmistakable, and this ornament is one of my all time favorites. As soon as I pop the batteries in each year, I press the button on back and my heart swells as Judy gently sings Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. It always gives me all the feels and chills if I listen to it late at night by nothing but the light of the Christmas tree it’s nestled in.

Hearing Judy sing those well known words always reminds me to be thankful that, no matter what the previous year had held, I can gather at Christmas with the ones I love and hold them close.

Through the years we all will be together,

If the fates allow.

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough,

And have yourself a merry little Christmas now…”

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„ Day 10: George Bailey Lassos My Heart

I don’t know if you are seeing a trend here, but movies and television, especially classic films, have played a huge roll in my childhood and the person I have grown to become.

This little angel bell was gifted to me after I played Mary Hatch my senior year in Its a Wonderful Life. That movie has always been one of my Christmas favorites, and was my introduction to the film career of Jimmy Stewart, whom my mother and I share a love for. She would avidly argue to love him more, in a battle of affection. I guess in such circumstances, I’ll retreat and settle for Fred Astaire. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But [whispering in his deaf left ear], “George Bailey, I’ll love you ’til the day I die…”

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„Day 9: A Happy-Peppy Ornament

“Are you unpoopular?! Do you pop out at parties?!”

I Love Lucy is one of the all time greatest television shows to air on national TV and Lucille Ball never ceases to make me giggle, or heck, down right belly laugh. I Love Lucy was a love that my Nanny and I shared, so each year she would get me I Love Lucy ornaments and Barbies.

This ornament is one of my favorites. When you push the middle dial, the TV screen lights up and Lucy gives the drunkest version of her Vitameatavegamin monologue to the roar of live-recorded laughter.

Growing up a little girl that loved film, television, and the craft of acting, Lucille Ball was an inspiration that girls can do anything, it’s okay to act silly, no matter your age, and that we should always embrace who we truly are {bright red hair, animated personality, and ALL}.

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„Day 8: Neverland Dreams

Peter Pan.

I have several Peter Pan ornaments, but this particular one was gifted to me by my bestie.

Peter Pan has been a part of me for I don’t know how long. I can’t remember not being in love with the idea of Neverland; pirates and Indians, mermaid lagoons, endless adventures, and a boy that never grows up. I remember staring out my bedroom window into a clear night sky as a child, wondering which star was second to the right of another and wishing Peter Pan would fly to my window and ask me to do his spring cleaning. {I dared not clean my own room at that age, but I would in an instant sweep the dirt floors, wash chipped dishes, and air out the animal-skinned rugs of the underground hideout that was home to the Lost Boys!}

The first version I ever watched was the Mary Martian made-for-tv musical. Later, I included the Disney version, and soon after, the full novel by JM Barrie. I’ve seen just about every adaptation ever made, and read all of the sequels ever written, which haven’t always been to my liking. I am quite the snob and find all of the inconsistencies between versions, one namely being which hand Captain Hook lost to the belly of the crocodile. {It was his right hand, by the way, Mr. Disney.}

Either way, through the years, Peter Pan has meant a lot to me; mostly reminding me to embrace who I am and to keep dreaming. But he’s also shown me that the longing in my soul for home where adventures are abundant, comrades are plentiful, and the sights and sounds are beyond your wildest imagination is just an indication that I was made for such a place, and that that place is waiting for me in Heaven.

Our minds cannot even fathom the perfect home He has in store for us…even the minds of silly dreamers like me.

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„Day 7: Thereโ€™s No Place Like Home

What little girl doesn’t love Dorothy from Kansas?

The Wizard of Oz is one of the first movies I remember watching when I was little. And watching and watching and watching…

It also happened to be the first ever live performance I ever saw. My MeMama has told me so many times how she took me to see The Wizard of Oz at the Macon Little Theatre and how every other child there squirmed and wiggled, but I was glued to the stage. I believe that experience with the theatre was a catalyst in my love for it on-going, and my enamor for the girl in the ruby red slippers was the beginning of a love for Judy Garland and her whole film career.

And Dorothy is not the only ornament I have in the set; the Wicked Witch, Glinda, the Lollipop Guild, the Lullaby League, evil Mrs. Gulch on her stuffy little bicycle, and all three of Dorothy’s Oz-bound companions hang around her on the tree.

Hanging her there always reminds me that although there is no place like home, there is definitely no place like home at Christmastime.

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„ Day 6: โ€œWhy, youโ€™re Don Lockwood!โ€

Gene Kelly from Singing in the Rain. And all the girls swooooooon…

My MeMama {my grandmother on my father’s side} made sure that I was brought up on good, classic movies and musicals, and Singing in the Rain is one of the first I remember watching and falling in love with as a child. My mother loves old films, too, and Singing in the Rain is one that we can practically quote word for word.

If you’ve never seen Singing in the Rain, make it one of your 2018 goals to remedy that. Even if you are not one for classic movies, this movie is entertaining for all. It’s a hilarious, sappy, and all-around feel good film.

So when Christmas comes around each year, I love hanging up my tiny little Don Lockwood while humming a few verses of Singing in the Rain (in A-Flat). ๐Ÿ˜‰ It makes my heart smile.

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„ Day 5: All I Want for Christmas is a Rosie

As I mentioned before, I grew up an only child, my sister being born exactly thirteen and a half years after me, to the day. So Saturday mornings, as a kid, we’re my favorite. My parents would sleep in {looking back, I’m sure they only slept until 8:00-8:30} and I would wake up and take an armful of Barbies to the living room and play in front of the television all by myself. It was an elementary-age introvert’s dream! The line up was usually made up of classics like Gilligan’s Island, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, and my personal favorite, The Jetsons.

I don’t know what it was, but I just loved George Jetson and his funny, futuristic family. A few years ago my mother gave me this Rosie ornament. She beeps and talks and never ceases to make me smile.

And with the new wave of Siris and Alexas and Roombas, I am very much looking forward to the day when I own my own Rosie, and she can do my laundry and dishes and instantly pop a home-cooked meal out of the kitchen countertop.

And all the moms say, “Amen!”

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„ Day 4: Prayers for a Mother

By the time I got to high school, my love for the stage had spread to theatre, as well. My junior year, our drama department put on The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I was cast as Imogene Herdman and, having grown up an only child, had fun playing a bossy big sister in a rowdy group of siblings.

Later that spring, one of the boys in our production who played along side me as a Herdman brother, passed away in a tragic car accident not far from our school. He was a year younger than I.

Although we weren’t close friends, the drama club at our school that had a smaller student body than most, felt like family, and his death was crushing for all of us. I remember feeling a weighty sorrow for his family; his siblings, his father, and especially his mother…maybe because my one and only sibling was two-years-old at the time and I have always felt a motherly love over her, being almost fourteen years apart.

But each year as I hang this ornament gifted to those of us in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by our theatre teacher, I think of Tyler and say a little prayer for his mother and the empty space in her arms she much feel this time of year.

If you are a mother missing a child this season, I’m praying for you today, too. Praise the Lord for a Savior born of a virgin that came to dry our tears and promise us a hope of forever with our loved ones someday in Heaven.

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„Day 3: Friends Forever

Want to hear something crazy? My closest friends are girls that I met in middle school.

MIDDLE SCHOOL!

Those awkward years you’re supposed to hate and look back on with loathing and embarrassment!

Middle school, and my whole schooling experience actually, was pretty fantastic {outside of developing the insane acne I still struggle with as I enter my 30’s…Some people just never grow up, right?}.

This ornament was a gift from a friend that feels way more like a sister these days. In high school we would joke about how we were going to be friends forever and one day join the Red Hat Society together. This isn’t all the girls, we’re specifically missing Sabrina in this Red Hat mix, but they just didn’t make an ornament with enough women on it to portray the amazing friendships I’ve been gifted with all these years.

Who knew that during those years when most people find themselves lost in adolescence, I would find myself found by girls who would really know me, love me, and accept me for a lifetime. Julie, Stacey, Courtney, Sabrina….thank you for always being there no matter the span of time between texts, calls, coffee chats, and dinner dates. I love you all so dearly.

My Christmas wish would be that everyone could know friendship the way I do, and that they would hang an ornament on their tree each year to remind them just how richly blessed they are.

With love, Mal

๐ŸŽ„Day 2: Tiny Dancers

“Malorie!”

Seven or eight year old me walked down the hallway of our three bedroom/two bath house on Summerwood Drive toward the voice of my mother. I can still see the grayish-blue carpet, visualize passing the bathroom on the left before the hallway emptied out into our living area. My mom was sitting at the dining table they still have, balancing her checkbook in the same way that I’m sure she still does.

“You’re going to start dance class on Tuesdays.”

And that’s all I really remember. I don’t remember if I asked to start dance, or if it was my parents’ idea, but the following Tuesday I showed up at Tumble ‘n Dance and started gymnastics, ballet, and tap classes. My stage debut was shuffling my ribbon-tied tap shoes to the Andrew Sisters belting


“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. Over the next ten years, I would also take lyrical, jazz, modern, hip hop, and dabble a toe in pointe.

I grew up being pretty shy, from what I can remember. I’ve always been introverted. But there was something about dance that brought me out of my shell. There was something about the stage that made me feel safe and more like myself than anywhere else. There was something about a wall of mirrors and an empty floor that felt like home.

I still love to dance. It’s an outlet of release for pent up emotions and a way I sometimes worship when I am happy and don’t have the words to say.

I miss taking formal classes sometimes. But as I hang up all of the tiny dancer ornaments on my tree, I’m thankful for all of the memories and friendships and experiences dance gave me. It definitely influenced who I am today.

With love, Mal